The Chicago Marathon is officially one month away! Follow my progress training for my first marathon on my Maree’s 26.2 Journey Blog.

One friend who is planning on running the Chicago Marathon with me is Megan, who is also a senior at Loyola University Chicago. In fact, Megan and I studied abroad together in fall of 2009 in Rome, Italy, where we met and decided to run the marathon together along with our friends Ashley and Chris. When we took a trip to Greece together, Megan and I ran along the ocean coast together each morning and talked the whole time. It was probably the most fun I have ever had running, and the scenery was incredible.

Unfortunately, Megan has been experiencing problems with her hip this fall, so she has had to take the past couple of weeks off from running, which is “basically driving her crazy.”

I asked Megan a couple questions about her marathon training experience, since this will be her first marathon as well. We are both obviously very committed to training and determined to finish the race!

What made you decide to run the marathon?

Because you told me I could! But, seriously, just because I knew that senior year of college would be a good time to try to accomplish a goal like this, and because I’ll have friends running with me. Plus, I really enjoy running, so training is actually fun for me.

Have you ever run races before?

I ran a four-mile race and a 5K, but never anything close to a marathon. My normal training runs prior to marathon training were usually between four and eight miles.

Megan in Greece

What shoes do you like to run in?

I train in adidas Supernova Glide 2 running shoes. When I went to buy running shoes, I got a consult from someone who watched me run and determined what type of shoes I needed based on my individual stride. They brought out ASICS and Saucony shoes for me to try on, but they just didn’t seem to fit right. When they brought out the adidas shoes, and I tried them on, I knew they were the ones for me. They’re super comfortable and they fit my feet perfectly.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you run?

Basically anything that motivates me and keeps me going . . . pump up music. A few of the artists on my iPod include Jason Derulo, 3 Doors Down, and Kevin Rudolf. The song “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf is a great one to finish my run because it gets my adrenaline pumping so I can sprint.

How do you keep from being bored on long runs? It’s really hard for me to stay focused sometimes, especially when I run by myself!

I usually stay focused on running by just thinking about things that are going on in my life. Sometimes I just try to let my mind go blank and focus on just the act of running, which is really relaxing.

How has your diet changed since training for the marathon?

I’m basically hungry all the time, mostly for carbohydrates and protein. If I eat junk food I don’t feel as motivated to run the next day, so I try to avoid that.

Are you still planning to run the marathon with your hip problems?

YES. I have been to the doctor a couple times, and he has just told me to take time off, but after this week I’m going to try running again. Until then, I’m just going to keep logging miles on the elliptical and biking. I’m DEFINITELY planning on running the marathon, no matter what. When I get better, we’ll have to run together! Hopefully it all works out.

I’m really looking forward to running the marathon with Megan – she’s very determined to finish and fun to run with. The marathon is officially one month away today!